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EU considering sanctions an option to tackle Belarus migrants’ smugglers, - Borrell

Source : 112 Ukraine

EU has already deployed FRONTEX rapid border intervention and additional technical assistance, and are ready to strengthen it even further
10:25, 31 July 2021

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EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell did not rule out the possibility of introducing new sanctions against the leadership of Belarus due to the increase in the flow of illegal migrants from this country. The website of the European Council published a corresponding statement by Borrell.

“The EU and its member states will address the ongoing surge in irregular crossings into the EU from Belarus to preserve the integrity of its external border. In line with its gradual approach, the EU will consider the possibility of restrictive measures targeted at migrants’ smugglers abusing human rights or those otherwise involved in trafficking in human beings,” reads the message.

Related: Lukashenko does not exclude Russian troops deployment in Belarus

EU and its member states, in solidarity, already increased their support, including through the deployment of the FRONTEX rapid border intervention and additional technical assistance, and are ready to strengthen it even further. Member states will swiftly provide the support necessary to ensure the immediate deployment of the relevant teams and assets.

“We will work to further strengthen EU return capacities as part of a comprehensive approach, including through dialogues and partnerships with the countries of origin and transit,” Borrell added.

Related: EU urges Iraq to help with illegal migration to Lithuania via Belarus

On July 2, the Lithuanian government declared a state of emergency due to an increase in the flow of illegal migrants from Belarus. On July 7, the Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė announced that a wall worth more than 40 million euros would be installed on the border with Belarus.

On July 9, Lithuania began building a 550-kilometer barbed wire fence on the border with Belarus, accusing the Belarusian authorities of allowing migrants from abroad to enter the country and then transporting them to the European Union.

July 27, a record number of illegal migrants from Belarus was recorded in Lithuania (171 people). Since the beginning of the year, 3,027 migrants from Belarus have tried to illegally enter Lithuania.

As reported before, Washington intends to reduce the staff of its diplomatic mission in Russia, as since August Kremlin has prohibited the US from maintaining and hiring employees from Russia or third countries, with the exception of the security service.

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